Tuesday, November 14, 2017

No Greater Love

Film Review by Kam Williams

Afghan War Documentary Chronicles Combat through Eyes of Grunts on the Ground

In 2010, the 101st Airborne Division's "No Slack" Infantry Battalion deployed to Afghanistan where it would face its fiercest combat since fighting the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive. Embedded with the grunts was Army Chaplain Justin Roberts who brought along a camera to preserve for posterity what transpired over the course of the tour.

The upshot of that effort is No Greater Love, one of the best documentaries of the year and, quite frankly, the most moving one this critic has seen about the Afghan War. For, it not only chronicles, in real time, the terrible toll exacted by battle, but also the emotional fallout visited on the surviving vets upon their return to the States as they attempt to readjust to private life. 
Sadly, about half the men were wounded or killed in action. We see the servicemen pausing to mourn fallen colleagues only momentarily before having to resume their mission. No wonder so many subsequently suffered from PTSD, frequently finding themselves misunderstood and even abandoned by family and friends during the difficult transition from soldiers to civilians. 
So, No Greater Love is not a feel-good flick. Rather, it is a grim reminder of the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces in serve to the country. The film's title was inspired by John 15:13, the Biblical verse which reads "There is no greater love than this--that a man should lay down his life for his friends." 
Jesus' words are apropos for this tight-knit, band of brothers bonded together forever, whether overseas or home. Every patriot owes a debt of gratitude to "Chappy" Roberts for such a searing, cinematic memoir illustrating the unfortunate paradox that the road back from war is often far longer than the one there.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 97 minutes
Distributor: Atlas Distribution

To see a trailer for No Greater Love, visit:

No comments: